Podcast: Adios, Maldonado

April 30, 2010 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

No, that headline doesn't mean the new Republican lieutenant governor is going away. It's just that now he finally has the job he's wanted for months, the drama /news is over and we'll soon be moving on to other topics. But not quite yet.

This week's Capital Notes Podcast checks in on the final chapter of the Maldo saga, including the unexpected epilogue: a public spat among the Capitol's top leaders. Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also discuss the two words that kept coming up over and over again this week in the race for governor...

Goldman Sachs.

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Throwdown Over the "Politics" of Maldo

April 27, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · 1 Comment 

Governor's Office

Photo: Governor's Office

It's always fun when politicians decry the evils of politics. And so it is again today, as Democrats and Governor Schwarzenegger spar over whose to blame for the Guv's decision to schedule two stand alone elections for replacing Abel Maldonado in the state Senate.

That's now Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, who took the oath of office this afternoon only to see the political press corps pass over the story in favor of a potentially nasty throwdown between Dems and Schwarzenegger. The guy can't catch a break.

Now, on to said throwdown.
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The Budget Deficit & Renting The Future

April 27, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget · Comments Off 

You probably don't need any reminders of just how bad the options are for resolving California's state budget woes. And yet, one section in today's new analysis of a plan to sell state office buildings and then lease them back is worth highlighting.

Here's the assessment from the ever-cautious, habitually prudent, Legislative Analyst's Office:

Based on our analysis... the cost of leasing back the buildings would exceed the sale revenue. As a result, we would normally not consider the sale–leaseback a reasonable budget solution since it would add to the structural deficit in order to address the current budget shortfall. Paying for the state’s annual costs of running its programs with a one–time sale of critical state assets is poor fiscal policy. In the current budget environment, however, the sale–leaseback represents one imperfect option among many for balancing the budget.

Let me summarize in more everyday speak: it's a lousy plan but hey, whatdya gonna do?
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The Next Lite Guv

April 26, 2010 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics, People · 2 Comments 

Abel Maldonado will take the oath of office tomorrow to become California's 47th lieutenant governor. With that, he will make history in one way -- the first Republican* Latino statewide official since 1875 -- while hoping to avoid making history in another way -- possibly being one of the shortest serving 'Lite Guvs' in modern times.

Maldonado chats with reporters after being confirmed as the next 'Lite Guv.'Maldonado won confirmation from his fellow senators this afternoon, the final step on his 154 day odyssey to become second in command, filling the remaining months on the term of John Garamendi, who left Sacramento for Washington, D.C. last year.

But Maldo must soon win the job outright -- first in a June 8 primary and then, if successful, on November 2. Otherwise, he will serve just about eight months, just beating the record of John Harmer who served as LG for just three months and three days in the final months of 1974.

And if he thinks the last four months were tough, just wait.
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Look, It's Meg!

April 25, 2010 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · Comments Off 

The Whitman infomercial, which aired on one Sacramento TV station before sunrise on a Sunday.You had to get up pretty early here in Sacramento if you wanted to catch Meg Whitman's half hour infomercial on one of the two TV stations on which the campaign bought time on this Sunday morning. Which makes a DVR come in handy.

So what new do we learn about the Republican gubernatorial front runner? For those following the campaign, not much. And for those who aren't, the question may be whether the choreographed production -- including "breaks" for her TV commercials and graphics reminding you how to get a copy of her plan -- is seen as enlightening... or just standard infomercial hawking of a product in the wee hours.
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Tax Revenue Blues

April 23, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget, Taxes · Comments Off 

Going into the month of April, there was optimism about the state's tax revenues. But unless things change in a hurry, that optimism is about to replaced by some cold hard facts, and too little cold hard cash.

Data from the state controller's office through yesterday suggests that $927 million will need to be collected each business day left in the month for the state to meet its projected budget revenues.

That's more than any single day has taken in all month long.
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Podcast: John, Anthony, Lana

April 23, 2010 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

Let's put it this way: Lana doesn't share her old man's love of California politics.

On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we pull off a two-fer: discuss the week's political news and try to entertain an eight year old who's tagging along for Take Your Child to Work Day. Which means we're short and sweet.

Capitol Weekly's Anthony York, his daughter Lana, and I check in on the oh-so-close ascension of Abel Maldonado to the not-so-officially busy job of lieutenant governor. We also discuss the debate over debates, last week's big Dem confab, and Capitol Weekly's new poll in the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

And every so often, you'll hear our youngest podcaster make it clear... she's bored.

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T-Ridge: Not So Fast, Says Maldo

April 21, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Politics, Environment · Comments Off 

It appears Abel Maldonado is one step closer to becoming California's next lieutenant governor after today's vote by the Assembly Rules Committee, with a full Assembly vote now scheduled for tomorrow.

But comments today from Maldo, as well as the positions of other prominent challengers for the job this fall, don't bode well for backers of a limited -- but controversial -- plan for new oil drilling off the Central Coast.
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Redistricting Panel: Hot Potato! Not It!

April 20, 2010 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics, Elections · Comments Off 

MISSING: 22,525 Californians
LAST SEEN: Submitting an initial application for the new Citizens Redistricting Commission
DESCRIPTION: Not as white, male, or partisan as those left behind

No final tally yet exists of the total pool of applicants vying for one of 14 seats on the commission that will draw legislative and Board of Equalization districts next year. But one thing's for certain: you've got to be glad you're not the one trying to take that group of applicants and whittle it down to a qualified group that represents the diversity of California.

That's a tall order.
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The Worldly Observations of Jerry Brown

In this morning's story on The California Report recapping the California Democratic Party's convention, I attempted to convey the top election year priority of many delegates -- jobs and the economy -- and how that concern might play out in the race for governor.

John Myers

Photo: John Myers

The story was complicated partly by the fact that Democrats are still grappling with exactly what kinds of economic solutions they prefer, and by the fact that the only thing on which they currently seem to agree is the villain: corporate America in general and Wall Street in particular.

But the other reason the story was complicated was because of Jerry Brown.

There's no doubt this key California issue was on the mind of the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, but there were also apparently a whole lot of other things on his mind at the same time. So many so, that it begs the question: can Brown stay on message in his quest for a third term as governor?
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